1)Keep toys in open bins or baskets for easy clean up. Don’t try to get too detailed here, if the kids have to sort too much, it will make cleaning up a challenge.
2) Use vertical height to your advantage. Store toys and games that you don’t want little ones to access on higher shelves so they have to go through a gatekeeper to play with them. Rotate the toys that are accessible every few weeks for a nice surprise!
3) Set up routines around clean up. For example, no toys from a new bin until they clean up the last, or every night everything goes back in its bin. Start small and simple. Ease them into it. If you make clean up fast and easy, it’s a habit that will last a lifetime. (Yes, you will never find food-encrusted dishes under piles of dirty clothes in your teenager’s room!).
4) If you can’t possibly imagine doing one huge purge of an overflowing playroom, start a “one-in, one-out” rule right away.
5) Use rubber bands around games and store vertically like books on a bookshelf for easy access. Also, put rubber bands around any sets of cards and store the banded set in a plastic baggie.
6) As soon as you get a new game put the pieces in baggies and write on the bag what game it belongs to.
7) Keep art supplies (or things that drive you crazy if your kids get into with them out your supervision) up high and out of reach so they have to ask for it when they want to use it.
8) At least once a year go through and purge and donate toys kids have aged out of. Move these items to storage if you have younger kids who will use them in the future.